Photo by Emily Hilliard

Photo by Emily Hilliard

Fresh Out of the Coven: Pentagram Pie

Pentagrams are an ancient symbol, but lately they’ve been popping up everywhere from forearms to TV shows to um…bikinis. I too seem to have been caught under the pentagram’s spell; I've recently developed an affinity for the encircled, five-pointed star.

The pentagram carries different spiritual meanings depending on the cultures in which it appears (from Mesopotamia to Freemasonry, Christianity to the occult), but in the Tarot, the "pentacles" correspond astrologically with Taurus, along with the other Earth signs Virgo and Capricorn. 

Read on via The Hairpin

Cobbled Together: American Fruit Desserts

Cobbler. I didn't understand the dessert until I understood the word. A professional "cobbler" is often thought of as a shoemaker and repairman, but a truecobbler is only a mender of shoes. A cordwainer is the more masterful footwear maker.

Read on via NPR


Cobbler for NPR Kitchen Window
Fergus "Flash" Shaw for The Runcible Spoon

The Long Lost Recipes of Fergus "Flask" Shaw

It was in the year of 1831 when the Jolly Gnosher, the great whaling ship of considerable note, went down. It had been on campaign through the Pacific seas, rounding the northern tip of the Isla Isabela in the Galapagos, when it met its match in the very beast it was hunting—an old bull whale of ponderous size and unfathomable strength. If these traits had not already been enough to instill fear into every sailors’ heart, the monster also boasted skin of an uncanny hue that shone like a silver coin, momentarily blinding any soul who cast his eyes upon him.

Read on in The Runcible Spoon


Cracker Pie: An American Classic

When you see crackers in a pie recipe, you’re probably thinking crust—crushed graham crackers for Key Lime or Banana Cream, or maybe a saltine crust for the salty-tart Atlantic Beach Pie. But crackers in the filling? It doesn’t sound too appealing. Turns out, though, that Cracker Pie, a.k.a. Mock Apple Pie, is a classic American recipe, dating back to at least the mid-1800s.

Read on in The Runcible Spoon

State Pie Project: Michigan's Tart Cherries

It’s getting to be that gloriously overwhelming time of year when just about everything is ripe. So much fruit, so much pie-making potential. Going back and forth among the blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and stone fruits, I remembered that I had some Michigan friends coming to my house in a few days. Of course. Cherries. I had to get tart cherries.

Read on via American Food Roots

Women at Work: Wrapping up Give Me Some Sugar

For the past 3 months, I’ve been talking with women pastry chefs from across the South for the Southern Foodways Alliance’s series “Give Me Some Sugar.” One of the questions I asked each chef was how being a woman has informed—or hasn’t informed—her work. I asked this, fully understanding that the question has its problems (as described by this Eater piece that was published when I was working on the series), as it marks women as an “other” in the professional culinary world, where women chefs are no longer a rarity.

Read on via Gravy


Give Me Some Sugar: Dolester Miles

Who: Dolester Miles
Where: Highlands Bar and GrillBottega, Birmingham, Alabama

One of my favorite themes to explore in my research and writing is the idea of women’s domestic creativity, acknowledging the home as a place of empowerment for creative pursuits. In the days when fewer women held “public work,” the home provided a non-commercial space for practice and experimentation, where women could hone a variety of skills—from cooking to quilting—and share them in a supportive environment. 

Read on via The Southern Foodways Alliance

Give Me Some Sugar: Tandra Watkins

Who: Tandra Watkins
Where: Ashley’s at the Capital Hotel, 111 West Markham St., Little Rock, AR

When Tandra Watkins described a childhood berry-picking memory, I felt like she was describing one of my own. “I grew up in the country and remember picking blackberries on the side of the dirt road we lived on. We brought them home and turned them into pies, and even had enough leftover to make jam. It was a simple, nice life—I don’t live that way anymore, and I don’t think many people do. But my parents were very involved with food and family.”

Read on via The Southern Foodways Alliance

Give Me Some Sugar: Carla Cabrera-Tomasko

Who: Carla Cabrera-Tomasko
Where: Bacchanalia, 1198 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA

“The Global South” is a popular concept in cultural studies these days. Simply put, it’s a way to compare cultural, political, historical, and socioeconomic trends among the world’s many “Souths”—places like Southeast Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa. Here at home, examining the Global South also means looking at international influences on American Southern culture—as well as the American South’s cultural influence on other parts of the world.

Read on via The Southern Foodways Alliance

Give Me Some Sugar: Sonya Jones

Who: Sonya Jones
Where: Sweet Auburn Bread Co., 234 Auburn Ave NE, Atlanta, GA

When asked to name her favorite dessert, Sonya Jones, pastry chef and owner of Sweet Auburn Bread Co. in Atlanta, has a hard time. “That’s like choosing between your children!” she says, laughing. But slowly it emerges that—though she loves her buttermilk–lemon chess pies, sweet potato–molasses muffins, and pecan brownies—she does have a clear preference. “Growing up, there was always cake in the cupboard, and it was usually pound cake. I remember the old women on our street who would make it. I love seeing pound cake come out of the oven.”

Read on via The Southern Foodways Alliance

Give Me Some Sugar: Lauren Mitterer

Who: Lauren Mitterer
Where: WildFlour Pastry, 73 Spring Street, Charleston, SC

When pastry chef Lauren Mitterer opened Charleston’s WildFlour Pastry in 2009, she set out to make a big impact with a small shop. She offered handmade baked goods for every occasion, from Sunday-morning sticky buns to fancy wedding cakes. “My vision for WildFlour was to create a place that people could come to, be part of the community, and really connect with one another through baking.”

Read on via The Southern Foodways Alliance

Photo by Daniel Krieger

Photo by Daniel Krieger

Give Me Some Sugar: Christina Tosi

Who: Christina Tosi
Where: Momofuku Milk Bar (Five locations in New York City)

You may know Christina Tosi for her whimsical, sugary creations like cereal milk (think the dregs of the cereal bowl in drinkable or soft-serve ice cream form), compost cookies, and crack pie—all of which she makes as pastry chef for New York City’s Momofuku Milk Bar. What you may not know is that Tosi is a Southern gal at heart. “I grew up in Virginia and have family in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Ohio. Living, cooking, and eating within the region, with a waste not-want not mentality; celebrating tradition and what’s around you on the breakfast, lunch, or dinner table—that was the spirit of my family’s upbringing.”

Read on via The Southern Foodways Alliance

Photo by Sarah Jane Sanders

Photo by Sarah Jane Sanders

 Give Me Some Sugar: Stella Parks

 Who: Stella Parks

Where: Table Three Ten, 310 W. Short Street, Lexington, KY

In a kitchen drawer at Table Three Ten in Lexington, Kentucky, pastry chef Stella Parks keeps a set of plastic measuring spoons that her parents gave her when she was 8. “I dug them up recently at my folks’ house and decided to take them to work. It’s a nice sense of coming full circle.”

Read on via The Southern Foodways Alliance


Give Me Some Sugar: Phoebe Lawless

Who: Phoebe Lawless
Where:  Scratch Bakery, 111 Orange Street, Durham, NC

“I consider myself more of a baker than a pastry chef,” says Phoebe Lawless, owner and chef at Scratch Bakeryin Durham, North Carolina. Having had my fair share of her desserts—her Shaker Lemon pie, fluffy buttermilk biscuits, and signature doughnut-muffins—I’d say this is not a qualitative statement, but an explanation of her approach, which she calls “pretty pragmatic,” and “homey and delicious rather than perfect and gorgeous.”

Read on via The Southern Foodways Alliance

Give Me Some Sugar: Cheryl Day

Who: Cheryl Day
Where: Back in the Day Bakery, 2403 Bull Street, Savannah, GA

According to her family, Cheryl Day’s first sentence was, “Are you having a good time?” That says a lot about her personality, but it says just as much about her baking, which for her is about connecting to other people and having fun. “My approach to baking has always been one person baking for another,” she says. “I realized that baking for others would be my path once I starting thinking about what work I could do that I was truly passionate about.”

Read on via The Southern Foodways Alliance